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Eno / Moebius / Roedelius / Plank - After the Heat / Begegnungen

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Artist: Eno / Moebius / Roedelius / Plank

Album: After the Heat / Begegnungen

Label: Water

Review date: May. 3, 2006

Brian Eno and Cluster (Dieter Mœbius and Hans-Joachim Roedelius) collaborated on two beautiful albums in the mid 1970s - Cluster and Eno and After the Heat. If the first of these albums caught the makeshift trio at their peak, landing Eno’s soporific atmospherics alongside the pacific momentum of Cluster’s cute melodies, After the Heat captures the duo at a fulcrum point in their respective careers. Eno’s music would soon dissolve into pleasant-cum-maudlin ambience and the Cluster duo’s solo recordings jettisoned wide-eye enchantment for gawky repetitions and chintzy comfort. After the Heat is a strangely tense listen for this reason: you can hear the trio gesturing in different, not entirely advisable, directions. Roedelius’ piano pieces are a bit wet and Eno’s vocals are too mannered and ill at ease to work in these pastoral contexts. After the Heat is gorgeous but slightly problematic: this is the beginning of an extended period of laurel resting for both artists. Often you want to nudge them out of their wonderland.

The Begegnungen discs compile tracks from various solo, duo and trio projects from Eno, Mœbius, Roedelius, producer Conny Plank and guest musician, Guru Guru’s Mani Neumeier. Some of this music is remarkably prescient: “Pitch Control”, from Mœbius, Plank and Mani Neumeier’s 1983 Zero Set album, ghosts mid 1990s Cologne electronica, an unintentional predecessor to the playtime techno of Mouse on Mars’ Iaora Tahiti. Some of Mœbius’ solo pieces ride with tetchy, febrile energy, particularly “Nervös” (no surprise really, given the title). Generally, though, the musicians are at their best in trio formations, where they can balance out each other’s indulgences. These Begegnungen sets are good enough entry points for those interested in the playful, gentle and melodic side of Krautrock.

By Jon Dale

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